Background and objectives: Written discharge instructions help to bridge hospital-to-home transitions for patients and families, though substantial variation in discharge instruction quality exists. We aimed to assess the association between participation in an Institute for Healthcare Improvement Virtual Breakthrough Series collaborative and the quality of pediatric written discharge instructions across 8 US hospitals.
Methods: We conducted a multicenter, interrupted time-series analysis of a medical records-based quality measure focused on written discharge instruction content (0-100 scale, higher scores reflect better quality). Data were from random samples of pediatric patients (N = 5739) discharged from participating hospitals between September 2015 and August 2016, and between December 2017 and January 2020. These periods consisted of 3 phases: 1. a 14-month precollaborative phase; 2. a 12-month quality improvement collaborative phase when hospitals implemented multiple rapid cycle tests of change and shared improvement strategies; and 3. a 12-month postcollaborative phase. Interrupted time-series models assessed the association between study phase and measure performance over time, stratified by baseline hospital performance, adjusting for seasonality and hospital fixed effects.
Results: Among hospitals with high baseline performance, measure scores increased during the quality improvement collaborative phase beyond the expected precollaborative trend (+0.7 points/month; 95% confidence interval, 0.4-1.0; P < .001). Among hospitals with low baseline performance, measure scores increased but at a lower rate than the expected precollaborative trend (-0.5 points/month; 95% confidence interval, -0.8 to -0.2; P < .01).
Conclusions: Participation in this 8-hospital Institute for Healthcare Improvement Virtual Breakthrough Series collaborative was associated with improvement in the quality of written discharge instructions beyond precollaborative trends only for hospitals with high baseline performance.
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